Face it, no matter how much you love the family, you’re probably going to need an escape during the holidays. Seattle is located near the mountains for a quick ski day or weekend, and close enough to the Pacific Ocean to venture out to watch the winter storms. The Skagit River valley and flats offer many opportunities for birders to see migratory snow geese and bald eagles. The small artist town of La Conner offers art galleries, fine dining and lodging. For short jaunts, the Washington state ferry system has many great routes to ride the ferry, enjoy the scenery and feel the breeze. These are the best holiday escapes near Seattle.
The San Juan Islands sit in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and receive less rain than Seattle 65 miles to the south. Explore 172 islands, which up the archipelago highlighted by Fidelgo, San Juan, Orcas, Shaw and Lopez. Expect ample outdoor activities, art galleries, museums, festivals and scenic drives on this exciting island adventure. The islands are home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, three pods of orca and harbor seals. Explore the tallest peak, Mount Constitution on Orca Island, or just bask in the sun on a weekend getaway to the sunny San Juan Islands.
Astoria is the gateway to the Oregon Coast, nestled against the hills at the mouth of the Columbia River. Founded in 1811, the town houses historical Victorian homes and an up-an-coming artist haven, featured as the set of such movies as “Kindergarden Cop,” “Free Willy,” “Goonies” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Other must-visit venues include the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Heritage Museum, Pier 39 Cannery Museum and the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill.
Nestled between the clear, blue waters of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, Seattle has a thriving LGBT community. Check out what this community has for arts and culture in the area.
In pauses between the rain, Seattle’s skateboarding scene thrives. Finding the gear to fit the weather and your needs, however, can prove a little challenging. Check out these great local skate shops, run by boarders like you, before you venture out into the great gray city.
The Seattle area is home to many waxing salons using either hard wax, soft wax or sugaring methods of hair removal. To pick the perfect salon, consider its techniques, comfort during treatment, personalities of the staff and the cost of services.
Seattle’s mixed martial arts and martial arts studios teach families fitness as well as fighting skills. Martial arts focuses on teaching self-defense, fitness, responsibility and skills for competitions with a focus on teens and adults, and these Seattle-area pros know their sport.
Mini golf in the Seattle area boasts something for everybody with courses appropriate for grown families and 5-year-old’s birthday parties alike. These mini golf parks are the cream of area’s crop for the most creative courses, best prices and the most fun extras.
Seattle is bursting with cycling opportunities, lanes, trails and bike-friendly traffic laws. Many residents commute to work by bicycle, combining getting a little workout in with their commute. Naturally, that means it also boasts more than a few brilliant bicycle shops, but these are the best of the best.